I saw Dr. W this afternoon, and am sure I made the right choice. If nothing else, the guy is a mentch on a bench. We began our meeting with a quick game of show and tell, then I got to get dressed for our discussion. He told me that every surgeon has their own biases, yet his job is to try and be neutral and do what will be best for the patient. He went on to talk about his favorite tool for reconstruction–Alloderm, and offered full disclosure that he travels around the world speaking on how to use Alloderm, especially for reconstruction of breasts and hernias. Alloderm is cadaver skin–or, as he put it, “collegen that someone else made for us” to form a support pocket–think internal bra–for the implant. Because I will have a skin-sparing mastectomy, he will be able to do this type of reconstruction. So, the upholstery will be my own–what will be new is the stuffing. And the choice of implant remains to be seen–they will be 13.5 inch (my current width) either silicone or saline implants, because, as Dr. W bemoaned, “the Gummy Bear ones aren’t available in the US yet.” Gummy Bear implants? Sound yummy! Gummy Bear implants refer to the Mentor 410s, ‘Cohesive Gel’ implants, however currently they are only available by clinical trial. So instead, Dr. White will decide if I’ll have silicone of saline based on how much tissue the breast surgeon, Dr. Kitty, will leave. Because it is not surgery to remove cancerous tissue (as far as we know, please G-d, poo poo poo), she can be a little less aggressive than if she was removing a malignancy. If she is kind, I will wake up with new silicone foobies and wont need any additional surgery, save for a touch up possibly. However, if she is aggressive, he will go with something cool–saline implants with ports that are filled post-surgically. Not big enough? We go into an outpatient surgery center where under local anesthesia, I get adjusted. While I prefer the one step without going to the gas station to get filled, I’m pretty much fine with either.
I’m also fine with the fact that my foobs will resemble a Barbie doll’s–no nips. I can have them made, if I want, after things settle down after a while, I can have something called, “3D tatooing” (not sure about that one), or I can just have Barbie doll boobies. Not sure. Let’s get the new stuffing and see how I feel about the upholstery minus the buttons. Sometimes they can be annoying, but not having them is a whole ‘nother thing.
Dr. W’s PA, Aqua, gave me the name of a mastectomy store on Park Ave–Thelma’s Mastectomy Boutique. I hope to mosey over there tomorrow after I get some work done. From what they tell me in Dr. W’s office, they are Cancer Street Fighters. The team is growing!
While Dr. W’s front office staff might be a little distant or strange, the care I will receive from the medical staff has been superior to that which I received from Dr. Lukka. Dr. W feels more like family (OK, we’re both Jewish–so in some ways we are) and is easier to talk to. When it all comes down to it, choosing a surgeon is like buying furniture. The Stickley may last generations, but is expensive. The stuff at Pottery Barn may be stylish, and even reasonably priced, but you get what you pay for with Made in China materials. Choose the Stickley when choosing a surgeon. You want your new body parts to last for generations, too.